EARTH RESOURCES: THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD BRAKE SUSTAINABILITY
Growth in population and in consumer demands aggravates the prospects for a sustainable global future. We need massive and timely public and political education to address our social priorities, especially the limits of human demands for earth resources; we must reexamine our premise that "growth" is intrinsically good.
To reduce the future shock of shortfalls of essential earth materials, we need systems of global and quantitative monitoring networks that are effectively interlinked so that supply problems can be identified in time to develop substitutes. Such forecasts should include reliable estimates of uncertainties, and feature realistic and credible (even if not precise) global assessments of material demand, flow, and availability.
Sustainable exploitation and allocation of earth resources requires that healthy existence of the non-human components of earth's ecosystems be assured. The current situation, where they receive mostly human rejects and leftovers, is not sustainable.